camra Fellows

Application Deadline

April 24, 2020

The fundamental objective of the CAMRA Mellon Fellowship Program is to increase the national pipeline of undergraduate students who complete Ph.D.’s in core fields that engage with both the theoretical and practical underpinnings of multimedia research, interrogating the politics of representation and power at play in visual scholarship and media as well as harnessing the potential of visual methods to democratize the production of knowledge in academic spaces. Through a three-year pipeline, the program aims to reduce the serious underrepresentation on college and university faculties of individuals from under-represented groups pursuing Ph.D.’s, as well as to address the attendant educational consequences of these disparities.

The CAMRA Mellon Fellowship Program is specifically open to recruiting under-represented students, students with a demonstrated commitment to eradicating racial disparities in visual media, and students who may not come from traditionally under-represented groups who have otherwise demonstrated a commitment to the goals of the program. CAMRA Mellon applicants must also be highly motivated towards gaining a Ph.D. and teaching at the university level. 

The CAMRA Mellon Fellowship Program provides undergraduate students with graduate school application and persistence supports and the opportunity to explore and engage multimedia forms including filmmaking and photography for their own research projects with the support and guidance of program scholars and mentors. Ideally, during the first year the Fellows will assist their mentors on a media-based project. Then, during the second year the Fellows will complete their own media-based project (e.g., documentary film, photo essay, podcast, installation). Preference will be given to projects that focus on social justice themes. The project can be for a course requirement, an independent project, or a senior thesis. During the third year of the pipeline, the program will continue to support participants through their first year in graduate school.

Eligibility and Qualifications:

  • Applications are open to undergraduate students attending the University of Pennsylvania with a preference for students who are presently matriculated in the second semester of their sophomore year. Applicants from Howard University are also encouraged to apply, as there will be the opportunity for off-site directed work during the academic year with intermittent visits to the Penn campus. 
  • We strongly encourage students from underrepresented groups, which have traditionally been underrepresented at the graduate level.
  • First-generation college students with demonstrated high financial need are also encouraged to apply.
  • Students must show interest in an individual media-based project, but need not have prior formal training in visual methods.
  • The program is designed to encourage Fellows to enter Ph.D. programs that prepare students for professorial careers; it is not intended to support students who intend to go on to medical school, law school or other professional schools.

Each CAMRA Mellon Fellow will become part of the CAMRA community and will be expected to: 

  • Participate in the three-year pipeline program (the final two years of undergraduate and the first year of graduate school)
  • Attend a retreat/training weekend in the fall
  • Work one-on-one with a CAMRA Mellon mentor on their projects and on their preparation for graduate school
  • Participate in weekly Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows meetings
  • Enroll in the CAMRA Mellon Fellows course offered each spring
  • Participate in/attend the Screening Scholarship Media Festival on UPenn’s campus in the spring
  • Present their final media projects at the CAMRA Mellon Fellows Showcase event 

As part of this Fellowship, participants will receive the following:

  • Hands-on training on the production of film/video/audio media in academic contexts
  • Mentorship from current doctoral students using media as part of their research
  • Master classes and workshops with media makers and scholars
  • Access to a DSLR camera kit and editing software during the course of the Fellowship
  • An initial award of $3,000 (with additional supplemental funding after the first year)

Additionally, Fellows will receive program support for:

  • National and international summer research opportunities
  • Travel to archives or research sites
  • Workshop or conference fees
  • Purchase of books or scholarly materials
  • Preparation for the Graduate Record Examinations
  • Graduate school application fees


For more information on the fellowship and application instructions, visit the CAMRA Fellows page.


Eligibility: Applications are open to all University of Pennsylvania undergraduate students.

Research Offering Type

Independent Research

Research Offering Location


Undergraduate School

College Engineering LPS Nursing Wharton

Research Offering Source


Contact Information